Bristol: Writing & Self Publishing Talk | Adventures with Luke & Bee


L: Now I like to think adventures can come in all shapes and sizes, and can be held in all manner of places. Our adventure to Bristol and back was certainly one that held a lot more than our usual food guzzling and sight seeing jaunts. That's not to say Bristol itself isn't awesome, of course! I'll let Bee elaborate on the various book shops we visited, as she is TFTC's veteran when it comes to all things neatly scribbled and bound. What I will say though is how glad I am and how lucky I feel to have had the opportunity to attend the writing and self-publishing event held by SilverWood Books but more on that a little later...

We thought we'd show you what happens when we leave the safe confines of TFTC HQ through the medium of iPhone snapshots! 

1 uk lifestyle blog the finer things club2 luke the finer things club uk lifestyle blog vivatramp3 uk lifestyle blog the finer things club4 bee luke the finer things club blog

B: Our local train station also happens to be right next to a bakery that does breakfast baps, and we rarely go on a trip without picking one up. And of course, we also had to pick up dessert in the form of an iced bun for me, and an apple danish for him! Props to Luke for the visual 'mmmm' face a couple of photographs above! We managed to sit in a carriage with the world's most difficult passenger, who point blank refused to pay the fee because he was only travelling 'a few stops'. After a hilarious skit which involved him pretending to be on the phone to the supervisor of the ticket collector, who conveniently told him that he was being overcharged, we were held in the carriage at the other end whilst the police came along and had a word. Safe to say, it was a pretty colourful start to our trip!  

5 uk lifestyle blog the finer things club6 the finer things club uk bee luke vivatramp7 lifestyle blog uk vivatramp the finer things club
- This pigeon was pretty excited at the prospect of £2 books!

B: After arriving we headed into the centre and went straight to Foyles bookshop, which we forgot to take photographs of! Amateurs. Luckily for us, they were having a 75% off sale and I managed to bag myself three books whilst Luke picked up a copy of Bret Easton Ellis' American Psycho. After a conversation with the bookseller about our picks, we headed over to Park Street for a quick browse before our tums started thinking about food again. Not content with only visiting one bookshop, we headed to the £2 book shop situated relatively near the top of the street. Yes, all of their books are £2 each and they're also brand new. It's a dangerous shop for people like me! If you're in the local area, you should definitely pop in because they've got such a wide range of books, from all the classics you could want to Wodehouse to Kerouac to Fitzgerald to Faulkner. They also have lots of other little sections, from military history to design. There's something for everyone! They are moving soon but they'll still be on Park Street so they'll be easy enough to find, I'm sure. I'll show you all of the books I picked up at some point but, for now, lets get down to the important bit...the food. 

8 the finer things club uk lifestyle blog9 the finer things club uk lifestyle blog vivatramp10 uk lifestyle blog the finer things club

B: Due to the amount of time spent in bookshops, we needed to head somewhere to eat that was very close to Foyles. We decided to go to GBK to get some burgers, fries and cold cokes. As ever, it hit the spot. Luke went for The Don whilst I opted for the Cheese & Bacon, sans salad and pickles as I can't eat them just yet! We are going back to Bristol relatively soon so and we are thinking about heading to either Start the Bus or Grillstock for food. If you've got any other suggestions, please feel free to leave them below!  

11 the finer things club uk lifestyle blog12 uk lifestyle blog the finer things club vivatramp13 uk lifestyle blog vivatramp the finer things club

B: After a quick coffee, we headed to Foyles ready for the event! The Publishing Director of SilverWood Books, Helen Hart, began the talk and discussed important things to remember and focus on when it comes to writing and self publishing. It was hugely insightful and I frantically scribbled everything down in my notebook. Lets hope it still makes sense when I venture back to my notes! After an informative start, the talk was then handed over to local author Sandy Osbourne who was there to discuss her book Girl Cop. She talked us through the process of self publication and her experiences with her debut novel which was hugely inspiring and encouraging to little novices like Luke and I!

L: I really didn't know what to expect, but from the first minute to the last I don't think my brain has ever absorbed so much useful and insightful information! It turns out the world of novel writing and self-publishing is really quite scary and, somewhat expectantly, insanely difficult. The huge literary mountains I am yet to ascend aside, I came away from the talk feeling inspired and, for the first time, with a much better idea of what I need to do, with some directions to follow and with a destination I can look to reach towards. There is no hiding of the facts that lay before every new novelist. It's an extremely competitive and difficult industry to become successful in, but I'm not going to let that stop me and if you're an aspiring writer reading this then you shouldn't too.   

After the event finished, we trudged to the train station in the pouring rain feeling a little miserable but all the while really excited about what the future holds for us! 

 When did you last have an adventure? What did you get up to?  
• What's your favourite city? 

LEAVE US YOUR ANSWERS IN THE COMMENTS BELOW or tweet us using @tftcblog. If you enjoyed this post, feel free to subscribe through Bloglovin and check us out on Twitter. We'll see you on Wednesday!

with regards, THE FINER THINGS CLUB.



  1. I love that you have found the 2 pound book store, it's just at the bottom of the road that I live on! I only went to GBK for the first time last week though, I got the 'Billy the Kid' which is mainly goats cheese... Its INCREDIBLE.

    Bristol is probably my favourite city but I'm hopefully off on adventures to Bournemouth and London next month!

    La Dulcie Vita
    or follow via bloglovin'

    1. Oooh and for the best food in Bristol I would recommend Pieminister, which you can find either in Stokes Croft or in St Nicks market or Biblos which does incredible wraps and is in Stokes Croft.

  2. This sounds like a very exciting trip and the talk itself is one I would have loved to have witnessed - I'm no writer, but I'm always interested in hearing about an author's journey and self-publication certainly sounds like a very interesting (albeit long and winding, I'm sure) road. My boy is actually writing a novel so it's information I'd definitely share with him :)

    Superb train selfies and Luke - that 'mmmm' face is pretty darn spectacular; so spectacular I can even hear you saying it (you've got miming down to a tee, well done you!).

    A £2 bookshop? That's frickin' crazy!! How do they do it?!! The boy may be doing an MA (come the end of 2015, so a while off yet) in Brizz-town so I'll be sure to head over (to their new spot!) if that ends up happening :)

    Right, last adventure? Hmmmm, that seems quite a while ago now unfortunately :/ Most recent (after our month away last Summer in Scotland) was our trip to London to see Arctic Monkeys at Earls Court - we did a little (self-found) Dickensian tour of Laaaandan town and then the following day had a lovely wander around Battersea Park, which we both thoroughly enjoyed!!

    And favourite city? That is a TOUGH one!! I've (rather luckily) been to quite a few cities across Europe and there are a huge number I love (I won't list them because I feel that would be cheating) but not so many in the UK, probably a handful or so, thus I think I'd have to say London!!! I did, however, really enjoy Glasgow when we went last year and, ok, Salzburg. It has to be said!!

  3. It sounds like you both had a lovely time :) I love going to events or talks on writing and publishing - as someone who writes and hopes to be published one day, I always find them so inspiring.

  4. Love this :) I live about 45 mins from Bristol, but only ever go to Cabot Circus or to music venues for gigs. I have never explored the city!

  5. sounds like a fun daytrip! The burgers look lush and the 2 pound book shop sounds awesome, I went to one of those in Oxford and bought a great book on Edie Sedgewick!

    I always try to make time for an adventure once a week :)


  6. There used to be a £1 bookshop in Hay-On-Wye, which always left me coming back from visits to my grandparents who live there laiden with lots of new novels! Best. Thing. Ever.

    My last adventure was to Leipzig- my home from home, and I ate a lot. Walked a lot. And ate a lot more. Man, I love Germany so much!


Please leave your comments below! If you've got a burning question for us, why not tweet us at: @tftcblog!